Handmade floral whitework matzoh cover recovered by a Polish Jewish survivor
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Jewish ceremonial objects
- Object Type
Matzah covers (aat)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Regina Feierberg
Doily style whitework matzoh cover made for Passover seder, the only item recovered by Ajzyk Celnik upon his return to his hometown, Kalisz, Poland, after the war. It has the words "Seder shel Pesach" in eyelet embroidery. The cover was saved and returned by the superintendent of the building where Ajzyk lived. Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany in September 1939. Ajzyk, a kosher butcher, his wife Hanka and their sons Samuel and Jakub left Kalisz, and, by 1940, were living in Krakow. The family was sent to Warsaw where Hanka and the boys perished. Ajzik was transported to Jaworzno labor camp, a subcamp of Auschwitz concentration camp, which opened in 1943. He was tattooed with the number 138492. He may have been sent to a slave labor camp in Czestochowa that supplied factory workers for HASAG (Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft), a munitions manufacturer. Ajzyk was liberated in January 1945. He walked to Zdunska Wola, still dressed in his striped uniform and wooden shoes, carrying only his camp blanket. Ajzyk resettled in Zdunska Wola and, in 1949, married Chaja Kawalek, his first wife's second cousin, and had a daughter. Chaja survived several concentration camps but nearly her entire family was murdered by the Germans during the destruction of the Jewish ghetto in Zdunska Wola in August 1942.
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:11:01
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn85415
Also in Ajzyk and Chaja Kawalek Celnik family collection
The collection consists of a matzah cover, documents, and photographs relating to the experiences of Ajzyk and Chaja Kawalek Celnik and their families during and after the Holocaust in Kalisz and Zdunska Wola, Poland.
Contains photographs depicting the Kawałek family in the Zduńska Wola ghetto c. 1941-2, including Samuel and Jakub Celnik, two sons of Ajzyk Celnik, who perished in the Warsaw ghetto. Also contains photographs depicting the Celnik family after the war in Zduńska Wola; photographs sent to Chaja Kawałek Celnik (donor’s mother) from her relatives in Sweden; and a document issued to Ajzyk Celnik in 1960 in Zduńska Wola.